Chickens don't wait for you to be ready to take a picture. Clouds don't stop floating across the sky just so I can run in the house and grab a camera. There are plenty of times I'm not home and see something I want a picture of. When the ducks are playing with the dog toy I only have a few minutes to snap a picture before they get bored and waddle away. Funny things happen every day (especially when you have livestock) that I wouldn't have had a picture of if not for my phone camera. It's sad but true. Even as the owner of a couple of those big bulky pro cameras, sometimes I just don't feel like hassling with them. Or have the time. Especially when I finally catch that little rooster harassing the cat. AHA! I knew there was a reason she avoids him! lol
Which brings us to options. What is a good choice for a camera to take general pictures? First of all, it must be something that you will carry with you. Nikon just came out with a camera so small that it fits in the palm of your hand. Canon has a similar one. There are camcorders that are almost that small. If you carry a purse, you might just carry a camera like this with you. There are those of us that just won't bother grabbing a camera every time we walk outside. Funny thing is, we often have phones on us though don't we? I have an Iphone4s. I believe the Iphone is the most popular phone right now, isn't it? The camera in it is pretty darn good. I've actually seen complete photo shoots done using the Iphone. Admittedly they use a special app to enhance the cameras capabilities. The Droid line has some pretty good cameras in them also. Plus using the camera in your phone is a whole lot cheaper then buying a small camera to tote around with you...especially when you really can get great pictures from it!
More then the actual camera though is programs like Instagram. (which my daughter begged me to join and now I'm addicted. Gee, thanks Caity!) Instagram has filters which you can apply to you pictures to "jazz them up". Now as someone who edits a LOT of photos, I know that these same effects can be achieved even with the software that came with your computer. It's not nearly as simple or as much fun though! In my phone, after I upload to Instagram I choose a filter and save the picture and it also saves the edited picture back to my phone. So I have both before and after pictures like this one that I took on the back porch:
As you can see, the one on the right has more "pizazz" and is more then acceptable for everyday use like blogs, facebook, etc. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to produce some quite lovely photos. I have bought a few apps like Camera+ which lets you adjust the exposure before taking the picture. Apps like PicStitch (free) makes collages out of your photos and Aviary (free) has lots of little effects and add-ons to give your pictures some personality. So as often as us Nikon users argue with Canon users about which is the "best" camera, the answer is quite simple really. The best camera is the one you have with you in the moment that you need it!